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Happy 17th Birthday WordPress | Hostdedi

Today WordPress turns 17 years old. If you’ve been in web development a long time you’ll know that the only thing that stays the same is how fast things change. 

Just since I started dabbling in web development in college all of these happened:

  • We learned how to lay things out with HTML tables
  • Then we learned how to use CSS for styling and layouts
  • We learned how to use Javascript for interactive elements
  • Then came Javascript frameworks like Prototype which was quickly eclipsed by jQuery
  • Then server side languages became really popular like ASP & PHP
  • The world moved onto Ruby on Rails and Python for a bit and it seems like React and JavaScript frameworks are having a comeback

The web world is constantly moving and most technologies only last 2-3 years before people abandon the technology for something new & shiny. But that’s most technologies, and today we’re talking about WordPress, which turns 17 years old. One more year and it can buy lottery tickets.

What Makes WordPress so Special

WordPress isn’t just surviving. It’s thriving. According to W3Techs WordPress powers 36% of the internet and it’s still rising. 🤯

So today I want to discuss what makes WordPress so special. Why does WordPress thrive while other technologies – even the most popular – only last a couple years?

I reached out to some of my long time WordPress friends to find out.

Democratize Everything

I love WordPress because it pioneered the democratization of the web. Anyone, even people who can’t code, can stand up a simple website, a magazine, or even a store using WordPress. Looking towards the future is exciting because now that we have everyone publishing, the next set of interesting problems come up for us to solve: how do we best deliver this content? How do we make this experience not only democratic, but also delightful? How do we improve?

Christie Chirinos – Product Manager for Managed WooCommerce hosting

WordPress made it possible for anyone to publish. Because WordPress is open source & GPL licensed you don’t need anyone’s permission to do anything. You don’t need to get approval from a board, submit an application, or explain to anyone what you’re doing.

You can set up WordPress on a host and start building.

Versatility & Community

I love that WordPress is versatile enough to serve content creators, store builders, and big businesses while at the same time providing the warm hug of a unique collaborative social community.

Mendel Kurland, Agency Developer Advocate

Mendel Kurland, who many of you know if you’ve been to WordCamps in the past 5 years,appreciates the versatility. WordPress was born a blog and it evolved to sell t-shirts, manage memberships, and power enterprise businesses. It’s incredibly flexible which is what makes it so appealing.

WordPress is whatever you make it – you can keep it super simple or build something exceptionally complex while still maintaining its ease of use. The flexibility empowers you to scale as big as you want, when you want, and how you want. Also, when you use it, you’re joined by one of the most diverse communities in the world. With an enormous global community and more than 300 local communities, it’s easy to find, share, and collaborate with other people who love WordPress as much as you do.

Jess Frick, Product Manager for Managed WordPress

If you want to make a blog chronicling bread baking  🍞 during a pandemic go for it. If you want to start your eCommerce empire selling bread machines, go for it. And if you’re just hungry for warm oven-baked-bread (as I am ✋) then start your own photo blog where you eat bread and post pictures of it. WordPress does it all. 

Once this pandemic is over, I strongly recommend you check out your local WordPress community. The code behind WordPress is only half the magic. The rest is in the community.

Opportunities & Growth

WordPress as a software tool has given me a career I never thought existed. WordPress as a community has given me a life I never thought I would be able to have.

Andrew Norcross, Senior Engineer & Developer Advocate

There’s an entire ecosystem built in & around WordPress and if you look, you’ll be able to find a place where you can sell your skills and expertise. WordPress has a thriving community where designers recommend copywriters who recommend website builders who recommend hosting companies who recommend premium plugins.

The industry is growing and it’s incredibly open. We’re all here to support each other.

Financial Freedom

It’s pretty gauche to quote yourself so I won’t add a quote of my own, but I will add something important that builds on the previous point.

WordPress has enabled me to constantly experiment. Over the years I’ve:

  • Sold websites as a freelancer
  • Sold both Ninja Forms & WooCommerce plugins
  • Wrote 3 books about WooCommerce
  • Helped organize both in-person and online conferences

I’ve been so incredibly fortunate to work in an industry where everyone is experimenting. I’ve been able to experiment and play with WordPress on the weekends and evenings and earn a little extra money. And while the money is great, it’s really that extra knowledge that’s helped me. If you like learning and making a little money while you do so there’s still so much untapped potential.

WordPress is Special

WordPress is special. Not just to the people who work at WordPress companies but to people who want to build a website, run a store, develop a career, and people who want to belong in a community.

So, from all the WordPress nerds here at Hostdedi, Happy Birthday, WordPress!

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